Ceremony Starting Time
It is important to have ceremonies start on time. Be sure to start out early to allow for traffic problems, etc. Do not schedule hair appointments too close to ceremony time. Beauty parlors often take longer than hair dressers estimate. We have a 15 minute grace period to allow for uncontrollable causes, but ceremonies started after that period are subject to an overtime charge. This charge must be paid to all vendors involved, such as officiants, photographers and musicians. Delays will be accommodated as late as possible, but ceremonies may need to be rescheduled if the vendors have other commitments that conflict.
Provide maps and directions to ceremony site in your guest invitations to help your guests find ceremony and reception sites. If the reception is in a different location than the ceremony, remember to bring additional maps to the ceremony to hand out to guests who did not bring their map along
Wedding Couple pre-ceremony
It is a difficult goal, but try to get plenty of sleep the night before the ceremony.
Eat a hearty breakfast on the wedding day to carry you through all the preparations. Maybe even pack snacks and water for throughout the day. It can be a long time before the bride & groom get to have the reception food.
Designated drivers – if there are bachelor or bachelorette parties be sure to have designated drivers. There have been DUI arrests the night before weddings and it is a very difficult trauma for all involved.
Outdoor Ceremonies – both offsite and chapel garden
Everyone envisions an outdoor ceremony with beautiful light balmy breezes, however many times it can be quite windy outdoors.
Ladies Hair Styles- Even in light breezes it helps to have hair pulled back or up. Relax and enjoy your day instead of battling hair in your face. If bride and bridal party do wear their hair down then try to remember before each photo posing to push your hair out of the way or else that perfect picture will have hair in front of your face.
Veils – When planning an outdoor ceremony try to realize that a full veil will more than likely blow in the way of your face for photos. Sometimes veils have completely blown off. It is suggested to forego a veil or at least plan a simple small veil that attaches on the low part of the back of the head. Pretty silk flowers or fresh flowers or decorative pins in the hair are a pretty substitute for a veil.
Setting ceremony time-Early in day or late in the day are suggested for temperature and lighting. Also, for beach ceremonies there will be less public on the beach for early or late times.
Sunsets – ceremonies are suggested to be no later than one hour prior to sunset time if photography is planned. Some light is lost even before sunset and because many weddings start a little late you can still have enough light left if you start early enough.
Without photography weddings can be closer to sunset time.
Temperatures – Most times it is best to wear cooler clothes for Florida outdoor weddings, but remember it is not hot in Florida all year long. If planning a winter wedding avoid sleeveless cool dresses or at least have a pretty shawl available to keep you from shivering through the ceremony.
Shoe options – If the ceremony is at the beach on the sand then the bridal party and female guests should not wear heels. Bridal parties can wear sandals or be barefoot. Plan ahead a place where the bridal party will leave their shoes. It is awkward to remove shoes at the beginning of the processional line where guests will be watching, yet the bridal party may need to keep their shoes on up to that point. Inexpensive flip flops can be provided for guests or just advise in the invitation for guests to wear flat shoes.
Courtesy for Warm days – For ceremonies planned in summer days the guests will appreciate a bottle of water. Arrange for a tub of ice with small bottles of water to be set up out by the ceremony chair area. (For weddings at our Chapel, we do have a water cooler for guests)
Other guest special touches. Arrange for a decoration to be placed in the guest restrooms at your reception site. Fresh or silk flowers or some other decorations that match your decorating theme can be placed on the vanity counter. Also, if you have reception napkins printed with your name then you can have a few disposable hand towel size napkins printed at the same time and they can be placed on the vanity counter as well.
Chapel Ceremonies –All ceremonies at our chapel have the program pre-planned and more under control than offsite ceremonies, so no rehearsal is necessary. On the ceremony day the bridal party should arrive a half hour prior to the ceremony so we can review the ceremony directions.
Offsite Ceremonies – The officiant’s service is to perform the ceremony and does not include coordinating, but because we care that every wedding we are associated with to be the wedding memory you want, we have rehearsals and/or event day ceremony coordinating in conjunction with our officiant service. Coordinating will let the bridal party feel more at ease and help to have the event go smoother. If you have your own coordinator then we just ask to know their name, so we know who to get our directions from.
Other than a bride/groom wedding with no guests, every other wedding (even simple weddings) requires some kind of plan to follow and someone to help direct that plan. A rehearsal and/or event day ceremony coordinating ensures the plan is communicated to everyone involved. We offer experienced directing for rehearsals. A rehearsal is more than just finding out where to stand and walk. It is a time to tie together all the details, discuss choices for ceremony procedures, and finish as many of the wedding day items as possible so that on the wedding day the bride & groom can concentrate on enjoying themselves.
Some people say they are just having a simple wedding so they do not need a rehearsal or coordinating. People tend to think that a beach setting means simple, but actually more factors have to be dealt with at the beach than a formal wedding at a Country Club. There needs to be a plan and coordinating for where the bride is going to wait and where will the processional actually starts from, besides heat, wind or rainy complications.
The Event day ceremony coordinators take care of more issues than most people imagine. Weddings do not start just when the bride/bridal party is ready. They start when the guests/photographers/musicians and ceremony area are ready as well as the bride being ready. A coordinator is needed to communicate back to the bride when it is time to enter.
The usual service is to greet guests, advise seating directions, communicate with bridal party for starting time, assist bridal party for processional, communicate with music timing, and direct guests after ceremony to reception. Other services arise such as parking issues, weather issures, guest or bridal party emergency needs such as bandaids, torn zippers or buttons, bouquet fixing, finding items such as lost flower girl baskets or petals, rings, ring bearer pillow, etc.